Design your data strategy | 7wData

Design your data strategy | 7wData

01. Understand your business objectives 02. Assess your current state 03. Map out data strategy framework for the future 04. Establish controls 05. Create integrated solutions 06. Scale your team and processes

Data is more pervasive than ever but taking advantage of its full potential requires Creativity and conviction.

As a data leader, you navigate through an ever-growing pool of internal and external data sources to shape strategy and direction in an increasingly competitive, data-rich marketplace.

Gone are the days of focusing only on business intelligence. Today’s data leaders strive for real-time decisioning and predictive models that help keep the organization ahead. But to get there, your data strategy must define the right approach to make sense of vast amounts of data, align to business strategy and build solutions that span the entire organization. You’ve got to empower people and define use cases that meet business needs, from traditional analytics and data science to operational analytics, digital, IoT sensor data and new product development.

Creativity and innovative decision-making are table stakes for success. But fully realizing data’s potential also requires vision, persuasion and support. The six-step framework — infused with insights from industry data leaders — will help you design and implement your data strategy while making the most of your teams, talents and strengths as an organization.

Connect your data strategy with the business strategy With a data strategy, buy-in matters. Your data strategy framework functions only when that vision is managed, supported and monetized in tandem with the overall goals of the organization. To align business and data priorities, you need a clear understanding of the larger aims of the organization and senior leadership. Meeting with C-suite and business stakeholders is the first step in helping your organization reach its objectives and embrace data as a true competitive advantage. “It really all starts and ends with, what business problem are you trying to tackle?” says Dr. Rania Khalaf, Chief Information and Data Officer at Inari.

To help leadership see the strategic merits of data, make sure priorities are clarified and agreed upon as your collaborative, data-driven environment begins to take shape.

Above all, be realistic, says Srinivasan Sankar, Enterprise Data and Analytics Leader in the insurance industry. When management hire a CDO, they think everything is going to change in six months, eight months. Complete automation by Machine Learning! An entirely data-driven organization! That's not possible. But stay resilient.

Surface and dissect pain points to discover blockers and gaps Now that you know the end goals and have leaders on board for the next step (you do have them on board, right?), it’s time to look holistically across your ecosystem for data shortfalls and vulnerabilities. What’s working and what’s not? What are the barriers to getting your business up and running with a true data-first experience?

Organizational issues often underlie challenges with data integration, data management and workflows. In fact, 82% of enterprises are inhibited by data silos.² To work best, employees need self-service data access with the right controls in place. Simply having access should never be the blocker.

“If I’m a business owner and want to use data to run an application, I shouldn’t even have to think about where the data is coming from or the metadata behind it or the rules around compliance,” says Priya Krishnan, IBM’s product leader for data and AI. “I should just be able to reach for it and turn that data into great outcomes.” A design-thinking approach helps surface and detect organizational pain points, bringing strategic value across multiple use cases, lines of business or teams.

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